Shape selection in chiral ribbons: From seed pods to supramolecular assemblies

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We provide a geometric-mechanical model for calculating equilibrium configurations of chemical systems that self-assemble into chiral ribbon structures. The model is based on incompatible elasticity and uses dimensionless parameters to determine the equilibrium configurations. As such, it provides universal curves for the shape and energy of self-assembled ribbons. We provide quantitative predictions for the twisted-to-helical transition, which was observed experimentally in many systems, and demonstrate it with synthetic ribbons made of responsive gels. In addition, we predict the bi-stability of wide ribbons and also show how geometrical frustration can cause arrest of ribbon widening. Finally, we show that the model's predictions provide explanations for experimental observations in different chemical systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2733-2740
Number of pages8
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number16
StatePublished - 28 Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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